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Selenium Supplementation and Increased Muscle Glutathione Concentration Do Not Improve the Color Stability of Lamb Meat

Jose, C.G., Jacob, R.H., Gardner, G.E.ORCID: 0000-0001-7499-9986, Pethick, D.W.ORCID: 0000-0002-3255-7677 and Liu, S.M. (2010) Selenium Supplementation and Increased Muscle Glutathione Concentration Do Not Improve the Color Stability of Lamb Meat. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 58 (12). pp. 7389-7393.

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In the eyes of the consumer, a red surface color of lamb meat is desirable. This red color is caused by oxymyoglobin; however, under conditions of retail display this pigment slowly oxidizes and turns brown, deterring consumers. The antioxidant activity of both glutathione (GSH) and selenium has been suggested to slow myoglobin oxidation, thus improving color stability. The following experiment was designed to test the hypothesis that high muscle GSH will improve the color stability of lamb meat, and this effect of GSH will be further improved by supplementing animals with selenium. Forty-eight 12-month-old Merino wether lambs were selected from a flock for high (n = 24) or low (n = 24) GSH concentration in whole blood. Each GSH group was then randomly allocated into two selenium treatments (supplemented with or without 2.5 mg of selenium/kg for 8 weeks). The lambs were slaughtered, and samples were taken from m. semimembranosus (SM) and m. longissimus dorsi (LD) to measure muscle GSH, selenium, and vitamin E concentrations. Further samples were taken to measure color stability (as oxy/metmyoglobin ratio, reflectance at 630/580 nm) over 96 h of retail display. There was no effect of muscle GSH concentration or selenium supplementation on oxy/metmyoglobin ratio at 60, 48, or 30 h of retail display, with the only exception being the non-selenium-supplemented SM samples, which actually decreased in ratio as the muscle GSH concentration increased (P < 0.05). There was a poor correlation between blood and muscle GSH, with a correlation coefficient of 0.18 for the SM and 0.026 for the LD. Thus, it is apparent that neither GSH nor selenium improved the color stability of meat from merino lambs.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Australian Sheep Industry CRC
Publisher: American Chemical Society
Copyright: © 2010 American Chemical Society.
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